Rate of detection of bacteremia

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Rapid detection of bacteremia is of primary importance to the clinical microbiologist. Recently there has been much interest in the development of blood culture methods which will increase the yield and decrease the time of detection of positives. Another major concern is the reported inadequacy of standard culture methods for the recovery of certain organisms such as Pseudomonas1 and Candida.1, 2 Research efforts currently are directed toward the development of more suitable media,3 more effective blood culturing techniques,4–7 and new detection systems.8, 9

This study was undertaken to determine actual detection times of bacteremia with generally accepted methods on a routine basis in The Cleveland Clinic Foundation Department of Microbiology. Parameters considered in the study were detection times, the number and type of organisms recovered, and the efficacy of blind subculturing.


The study made retrospectively included 23,392 blood cultures completed in 1975 by analysis of the blood culture worksheets on file in the Department of Microbiology. Blood culture procedures follow the recommendations of Bartlett et al10 and are briefly outlined as follows:

1. A 2% solution of tincture of iodine was applied to the skin over the selected vein. The iodine was allowed to dry for 1 minute and removed with 70% isopropyl alcohol. The process was then repeated.

2. Ten milliliters of venous blood was drawn and 5 ml was transferred to each of two blood culture bottles. One bottle containing 50 ml of Trypticase Soy Broth (BBL) with 10% CO2 and 0.025% sodium polyanetholsul-fonate (SPS) was incubated aerobically . . .



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